Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Do Things Make Us Whole?

We got a delivery yesterday. Mine and Wyatt's portion of the household goods from what we left in Japan. Having moved more than a few times, I know this ritual well. Packages arrive, and all of a sudden it's Christmas. There's unwrapping, and "oos" and "oohs". The euphoria of reuniting with possessions is soon followed by confusion. First there the physical confusion. Labeled boxes everywhere holding things you've been doing without. But, that leads to another confusion that makes one wonder, "why do I have all this stuff?"

This particular reunification is ironic, because it's a metaphor for the end of a former union. It's one of the last remnants of two lives that were once bound and now are going separate ways. Looking at what arrived, most of these things are steeped in my own memories as opposed to those that I shared with my spouse. 

In some ways I feel like all these things coming back to me is a final step in becoming my own person again. But I know that things do not make me whole. I've been on this journey, back to myself for a long time. I'm glad I found me again. And although things can be reminders of how I got here, they don't define me. I am who I am because of all I've experienced, and all I've endured. I've made mistakes and learned from them. I've also made achievements and learned not to mistake them for happiness or life satisfaction.

Part of the unpacking process will be deciding what to keep and what to donate. It's a good exercise and an even better reminder of what's important and what's clutter.

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